Proof is in the Pudding

One thing we learned from the Coronavirus pandemic was how to manage without unlimited access to groceries. Too many empty shelves at the supermarkets inspired us to go old-school in our home kitchens. One example was instant pudding.

In my adult life, I’ve depended on instant pudding for quick desserts. Add a package to 2 cups milk, turn on the blender, and voila! Perfect, smooth pudding in minutes. But what to do when the stock of packaged pudding is sold out at the stores?

I researched puddings and learned two methods to make homemade pudding: baked custard-type pudding and a stovetop cooked cornstarch-thickened pudding. Either is delicious yet I favor the stovetop method as it seemed simpler. Hasty Tasty Meals are all about easy yet wholesome.

My first experiment was a bit disappointing so I used a little help from Becky at The Hillbilly Kitchen. She has a very good YouTube Video about cornstarch pudding that inspired me to try again. So I made her banana pudding and it was delicious.

Buoyed by my success, I now make all my puddings. Why pay for mixes when adding just a few ingredients to the milk yields the same results…or better!

*I topped mine with cream I whipped myself but learned the next time to add dissolved unflavored gelatin to stabilize it. Real whipped cream breaks down in just a couple of hours.

Homemade banana pudding (after sampling generously 😋)

RecipeHomemade Banana Pudding

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 box vanilla wafers
  • 2 cups milk (any kind)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • whipped cream (for optional topping)

In a serving dish, layer bananas (1/4” slices) and vanilla wafers. In a separate dish, combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Whisk together thoroughly and set aside.

In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, heat milk until steaming but not yet boiling. Whisk in the dry ingredients, raise the temperature, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. After one minute, mixture should thicken.

Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Pour pudding over the layered bananas and vanilla wafers. Do not stir. Pudding will seep through the layers. Cornstarch-thickened pudding is prone to separating if overworked. Refrigerate the banana pudding at least an hour before serving. Serve topped with whipped cream (optional) or nondairy whipped topping. Garnish with a vanilla wafer or a banana slice, if desired.

Save money and use your own ingredients to make delicious pudding at home. Vary the flavorings to create other flavors using the basic recipe of 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a Tbsp. real butter. Add whatever extracts you fancy, or bloom cocoa powder in a bit of hot water for chocolate pudding. Experiment and enjoy.

God bless you, Becky Walker, for your tutorial.

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Pot Pie in an Air Fryer Oven

I hate to waste food, don’t you? That’s why my freezer has little bags of cooked leftovers, just waiting to be used in a stew, casserole, or pot pie.

Today I wanted to make a pot pie from turkey breast leftovers but without heating the oven in my Florida kitchen. So I experimented with my NuWave Bravo air fryer oven. No recipe is required for a pot pie. Mix vegetables in a gravy, cook, and top with dough. Seriously. It’s that easy.

All I need to create a turkey pot pie.

There are a few supermarket helpers you can keep on hand to simplify pot pie, such as pie crust dough, condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soups, and frozen mixed vegetables. You can vary the ingredients and approach, yet it’s basically meat, vegetables, gravy/sauce, and a crust.*

Steam vegetables and add gravy to create filling.

As for today’s experiment, I preheated the air fryer oven for about three minutes at 375°F. After I assembled my turkey pot pie, I placed it in the air fryer oven for 8 minutes (ovens vary—when you smell the aroma, it’s done).

Place dough atop filling.

*Don’t have a crust or time to make one? Top the filling with mashed potatoes for a cottage or shepherds pie.

Next time you need to do a refrigerator crisper drawer (or freezer leftovers) clean-out, think pot pie.

Air fryer oven pot pie

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Canned Salmon for a Hasty Tasty Meal

They’re called salmon fritters, patties, or croquettes. I call them a nutritious entree from the pantry. Easy to make, all you need is a sleeve of crackers (crushed finely), two eggs, a tablespoon of minced onions, and a can of salmon.

Preheat your favorite skillet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Form patties, cook 10 minutes or until browned on one side, flip patties and cook an additional 5 minutes, and serve with your favorite steamed vegetables.

Each 2 ounce patty is 31 gram protein and about 162 calories. Enjoy!

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Hi healthy cooking fans. Here is an article you may find helpful, especially during this pandemic.

Making Good Choices in the Time of COVID-19

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